The Buccaneers were finally able to get back into the win column with a 21-15 win over the Atlanta Falcons in a game that featured a lot of highs and lows as well as some controversy. The Bucs are now 3-2 heading into next week’s game against Pittsburgh. The Bucs Nation staff made predictions before the game.
This season, we are going to be analyzing each prediction and see if it was on the money or off the mark. Let’s get into it.
Gil Arcia: Some early stuffing
“Defensive tackle was a bit upset following the team’s defensive performance last week against Kansas City. The Chiefs ran the ball with ease against the Bucs and now face a very good running team in the Falcons. Despite that, Tampa Bay finds a way to make sure last week’s performance doesn’t happen again. The Bucs will hold Atlanta to under 100 yards on the ground, stuffing them often at the line of scrimmage and even forcing a turnover or two while setting the tone early.”
Unfortunately for Gil and the Bucs defense, neither happened as yet again the Bucs allowed well over 100 yards on the ground and also did not record a turnover in this one. The defense certainly bounced back with a decent performance against the Falcons, but the run defense still leaves a lot to be desired.
James Yarcho: Offensive Explosion
“The Buccaneers’ offense - at least, the passing game, appeared to get on the right track against the Kansas City Chiefs. Now, they get the chance to win their first home game of the season and are facing a team two Bucs have a lot of personal success against. Tom Brady has never lost to the Atlanta Falcons while Mike Evans has the most receptions, yards, and touchdowns against a single opponent when facing the Falcons. Both of those will converge on Sunday. Tom Brady will tie a single-game career high in his Bucs career by throwing five touchdown passes and Mike Evans will also match a career high by catching three of them”
This one was off by Yarcho as the Bucs only scored two total touchdowns on the day and Tom Brady threw one of them, none being to Mike Evans. I will say though, Yarcho was robbed of a touchdown for Mike Evans as it was ruled he was out at the one yard line after appearing to cross the goal line. The offense has made strides, but still is not where it needs to be scoring wise.
Evan Wanish: The Falcons run all over the Bucs... but still lose
“Through the first three games of the season, I was extremely disappointed in the Bucs run defense, but it never really came back to bite them... until last Sunday night. The Chiefs ran all over the Bucs and I expect the Falcons, even without Cordarralle Patterson to continue their success running the ball in this one. HOWEVER, I think their efforts on the ground will be all for not as the Bucs will still win this game as they are just the better team all around.”
WOOHOO. I finally get one right on the money. This run defense is really concerning to me as Atlanta ended up running for 151 yards. The run defense needs to clean it up. As for the rest of the prediction though, the W is all that matters right? The Bucs needed this win and they got it. Mission accomplished.
Mike Kiwak: Devin White Gets Right
“I will keep making defensive predictions until I get moderately close. Devin White got exposed throughout the game against the Chiefs, showing the over aggressiveness that has gotten him into trouble throughout his career. Luckily, he typically responds to really bad games with better ones, and he especially likes playing the Falcons (29 tackles, 5 sacks and a defensive TD in 5 career games vs. Atlanta). Put No. 45 down for two sacks and an interception.”
While White did not have any sacks or an interception, he was a bit better than he was in week 4 against Kansas City. He did however come close to a sack, but it was given to Logan Hall instead. White finished with 5 total tackles on the day.
Will Walsh: Lenny all day
“Last week the Cleveland Browns (-3) ran on the Falcons defense like they were a treadmill. The Browns are a much better running football team than Tampa Bay, however the Falcons have been gashed by the run all season, in fact, every team that has faced Atlanta this year has had a rusher average over four yards per carry. Tampa flexed their muscles in the passing game last week showing the world on Sunday Night Football that Tom Brady can still throw, behind a questionable offensive line, but what good did it do them? The Buccaneers lost and Brady sustained an injury to his throwing shoulder. Until the Bucs’ offensive line can become more reliable, the offenses’ identity will ideally flow through the backs. In week one, the Buccaneers rushing attack came sprinting out of the gate, since then it has been sloshing through the mud. Tampa Bay will right the ship against their division rival this week, Leonard Fournette goes over 100 yards from scrimmage with two touchdowns, as Tampa picks up their first win at home this season.”
Will was right with this prediction as Leonard Fournette did find the endzone twice, one through the air and the other on the ground and he did get over 100 yards from scrimmage, but most of his yards came from the passing game as he was Tampa Bay’s leading receiver on the day with 10 catches for 83 yards and a touchdown. He finished with 14 carries for 56 yards and a score on the ground.
James Hill: Evans has himself a day
“Mike Evans came back from his suspension last week and looked like his usual self. Evans finished the day with over 100 yards and two TD’s in the week four loss and I believe that trend will continue in week five. I believe Evans will finish yet again with over 100 yards and two TD’s for the second week in a row as he continues to progress to yet another season with 1000 receiving yards.”
This one was off from James though I will say, Evans still ended up with a solid day that included a fantastic catch as well as a near touchdown. He did not find the endzone at all, but he did end the day with four catches for 81 yards, just could not find the endzone in this one.
Chris Weingarten: First round picks show up
“The Buccaneer run defense has been one of the top units in the NFL for the past three years. But, starting late last season, and carrying into the beginning of this season, they have struggled to shut down opponents. Going into the game versus the Falcons, the Bucs rank 14th in yards per rushing attempt allowed. Atlanta, on the other hand, ranks 6th in rushing yards per attempt, gaining 5.1 yards per carry. I fully expect Vita Vea, and more so rookie Logan Hall, to provide the interior push that has been missing from the Buc defense over the last 8-10 games. Look for the Buc defense to hold Atlanta under 100 yards rushing, and 4.0 yards per carry, as they reestablish the dominance that is expected from such a talented group of players.”
The Bucs defense has continued to struggle defending the run this year and this game was no different. Many on the Bucs Nation staff believed that they would turn the ship around, but that just did not happen in this one. I will say that I was impressed by Logan Hall on many different occasions on Sunday. He seems to be coming into his own as a force on the interior.
Now the 3-2 Buccaneers travel to Pittsburgh for a showdown with a struggling Steelers team, but that could be a tough road game. We will see if the Bucs can go on a nice run here before some tougher opponents come up.